Karnataka

Don’t ignore MLAs who defected, Vishwanath warns BJP

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Among the 17 MLAs who quit, the majority were from the Kuruba community, Vishwanath said

Those who defected from the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) to the BJP appear to be flexing their muscles now.

A.H. Vishwanath, who could not retain his seat in the Assembly bypolls held recently, said on Monday that all 17 defectors had the right to seek ministerial berths. He also warned, “Wait and see what will happen if we are not inducted into the Ministry.”

It may be noted that 11 defectors retained their seats in the Assembly byelections.

Interacting with presspersons in Deodurga taluk of Raichur district, Mr. Vishwanath said, “I cannot predict now what will happen tomorrow if we are not inducted into the Ministry... All of us who quit our Assembly membership and joined the BJP are united and will take suitable decision if we are not included.” He maintained that it was the “sacrifices” of the 17 defectors that helped the BJP to come to power in the State.

Among the 17 MLAs who quit, the majority were from the Kuruba community, he said. The defectors from the community who backed the BJP are Mr. Vishwanath, N. Nagaraju (M.T.B.), Byrathi Basavaraj, and R. Shankar.

Mr. Vishwanath’s warning has added pressure on Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa as the party is said to be thinking of not giving ministerial berths to those who lost in the byelections. Even among the 11 defectors who won, the party is reportedly making efforts to convince a couple to accept posts of heads of boards and corporations instead.

Reacting to Mr. Vishwanath’s comments, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said party national president Amit Shah would take a final call on the matter.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 5:13:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dont-ignore-mlas-who-defected-vishwanath-warns-bjp/article30560158.ece

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